Raleigh first responders continue fight for pay increase

— Raleigh police officers and firefighters were returning to the city council Tuesday night to continue a conversation about pay that began last spring.

City Council members began work on a new budget Tuesday night and first responders are taking the opportunity to make their voices heard at a public hearing beginning at 7 p.m.

Last year, first responders lobbied city leaders for a pay increase and said they were disappointed. Ultimately, a 3 percent raise for all city employees was passed. At the time, firefighters and police officers were asking for a raise between 7 and 10 percent.

The City Council did commission a pay study to examine the issue but first responders said the time to act is now. They said they’re losing coworkers to neighboring towns in Wake County that are paying significantly more and that is putting the city of Raleigh in danger.

“It is to open some of the eyes of the councilmen and the council people. A lot of officers who have left have not explicitly told the city where exactly they are leaving, where they are heading to. We have uncovered some of that information by tracking some of them down, so we found out where they are working now,” said President of the Raleigh Police Protective Association Det. Matt Cooper.

A special thank you to our friends at WRAL for helping out with this post.